Background Invasive fungal infection is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in the very low birth weight (VLBW) and the extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants. A policy of oral nystatin prophylaxis was introduced with the aim of reducing the incidence of invasive fungaemia among high risk neonates.
Aim To determine whether this policy had reduced the rates of invasive fungal infection.
Methods In December 2004 oral nystatin prophylaxis implemented for babies with birth weight equal or < than 1250 grams starting on 3rd day of life till they retain their birth weight. In 2010 prophylaxis was extended to neonates of birth weight of 1500 grams and below. The rate of invasive fungaemia was monitored as part of an ongoing CQI project to reduce nosocomial infection rates in the NICU.
Results 799 VLBWI were admitted during the study period out of which 227 were ELBWI. There were no differences in birth weight, gestation and gender distribution.
Conclusions The introduction of a prophylactic oral nystatin administration policy was associated with a significant reduction in invasive fungal infection among high risk neonatal population.